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PureDWTS Season 24: ABC Apparently In Talks to Buy “American Idol” – So What Does That Mean For Dancing with the Stars???

This has been on my radar for a few days now, and many of you have tweeted me asking what I thought – well now that I’m not quite as bogged down with my 9-5 and we’re headed into the lull of the weekend, I’m ready to weigh in…

…for those just tuning in, according to TMZ (and a bunch of other reputable sources), ABC is currently in talks to buy the rights to American Idol:

American Idol” has only been off the air a year, but seems it’s still the hottest property out there, because we’ve learned ABC has now made an offer to buy the show.

Sources at ABC and Fremantle — the company that produces the show — tell TMZ the network contacted Fremantle last week and made the bid. We’re told the network wanted to reboot the show for a March 2018 premiere.

Given that they would be aiming for a March 2018 premiere, I think the obvious question is “So…what happens to DWTS, then?” because that would fit the same schedule as a spring season of DWTS.  I don’t think ABC has the carrying capacity for two big-name reality TV competition shows airing concurrently, so I think the most likely scenario is that Idol would take the place of a spring season of DWTS, thereby reducing DWTS to a one-season-per-year show in the fall only, much like Strictly Come Dancing in the UK.

I think Heidi & I have ruminated on the pros and cons of DWTS potentially getting reduced to one season per year for several seasons now, and have determined that the pros would far outweigh the cons – you’d avoid some of the oversaturation viewers seems to be experiencing in recent years, it would allow for more selective casting (fewer spots to fill = more leeway to hold out for better stars), and hopefully the overall quality of the show would go up (fewer seasons = less need to come up with gimmicks to keep things “fresh” all the time). And if the show’s gonna go to one season, they’d be better off eighty-sixing the spring one, which always scores lower in ratings than the fall season – so if reducing DWTS from one season to two is what ABC is aiming to do, I’d say this is their best bet, and is probably a bit overdue, anyway, given the level of f*ckery we’ve seen the last few seasons.

So it’s pretty much a done deal, then, right? We’re in our last spring season of DWTS, and the show’s gonna smoothly transition into a fall-only endeavor?

Not so fast.  There are a few obstacles in place that might prevent all of this from going off without a hitch – the first being that ABC ain’t the only one trying to get their hands on Idol:

TMZ broke the story … NBC and FOX were in a bidding war a few months ago to get the show, but Fremantle stopped negotiating because of squabbling with CORE, co-owner of ‘A.I.’

Our sources say Fremantle is going back to CORE to see if they can agree to negotiate with ABC, and go back to NBC and FOX.

Apparently NBC was also looking to snap Idol up, and in a move that doesn’t quite make sense to me, FOX was trying to nab them, too (so…why did they let them go in the first place, then?).  And understandably, Freemantle is  probably trying to hold out for the best offer. There’s also the minor issue of Ryan Seacrest’s return as host being nary impossible at this point:

We’re also told ABC inquired about making Ryan Seacrest the host, but even last week the network knew it was on the verge of signing Ryan as co-host of ‘Live’ with Kelly Ripa. As a result, we’re told ABC asked if the show could be shot in New York, which is now Ryan’s home base. Our sources say Fremantle made it clear … NYC was a no-go. The show will be shot in L.A.

We’re told Ryan hasn’t been approached by ABC about hosting the show and our ABC sources say it’s virtually out of the question, given his commitment to ‘Live.’

While Idol certainly COULD go on without Seacrest, part of me wonders if part of the appeal for ABC in picking up Idol is to have a show that already comes with a ratings-guaranteed fanbase – a fanbase that sorta hinges upon certain constants on the show, such as Seacrest hosting, having certain judges, etc. Since the show would likely be up against The Voice in its time slot, I’m thinking ABC wants a guaranteed ratings-grabber – and while the format of Idol may be a successful one, I’m not sure how much rebooting can be done before you run the risk of running some of the longtime Idol fans off. ABC may run into similar problems trying to cast judges – if they’re trying to pick up some of the old standbys, they could run into issues trying to book J.Lo and Harry Connick Jr., who are both contractually obligated to NBC these days (J.Lo for Shades of Blue and World of Dance, Harry for his daytime talk show, Harry). I don’t know how realistically affordable Simon Cowell would be, anyway, but he’s also kinda committed to NBC via his involvement on America’s Got Talent.  Paula’s a judge on So You Think You Can Dance on FOX. It doesn’t look like Randy Jackson or Keith Urban are committed to any other major networks, but are they enough to hold together a judges’ panel with 1-2 other new judges? And perhaps a new host?

My doubts about those last few items makes me think that, unless ABC can win the bidding war for Idol AND manage to book some of the old favorites from the series, we’re going to continue seeing a spring season of DWTS until ABC can find another suitable replacement – because even though DWTS’ ratings might be declining, they’re still a ratings juggernaut for ABC, and have been consistently beating The Voice in total viewers for a few seasons now. I don’t see them dumping that kind of success unless they can find something that’s going to be a guaranteed hit, right out of the gate – and I’m not sure there’s a whole lotta shows out there that are gonna fit the bill. But the very fact that they appear to be looking? Tells me that DWTS could be in a bit of trouble…not “cancel it completely” trouble – yet – but certainly “Do we really need two seasons a year instead of just one?” trouble…

…what are your thoughts, though?

May 5, 2017 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

Gleb Savchenko, Elena Samodanova, Sharna Burgess, Paul Kirkland Attend OK Magazine Event, American Idol Talk

Aren’t these some fun new photos below? Last night, Gleb Savchenko, Elena Samodanova, Sharna Burgess, and Paul Kirkland attended OK Magazine’s So Sexy L.A. Event at the LURE in Los Angeles, California. So cute….and what I’d give to see all four of these pros do Dancing With The Stars next season. 😀 Be sure to see more pics of them at the Getty Links in the pictures. There could be other pros who attended too. If so, let us know in comments.

And hey, what’s up with Gleb and Jennifer Lopez? I don’t know, but, this tweet sure is a fun teaser of them working together. Speaking of Jennifer, did you see her dance on American Idol last night? Wow is all I will say. Girl had some strong and powerful moves. Plus, the ending song with Keith Urban, Harry Connick. Jr, and Randy Jackson was the ultimate.

May 22, 2014 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.